Dr. Lauren Noel – IV Nutrition, Female Hormones, and Leaky Gut – Podcast #37
IV nutrition is very vital to female hormones and preventing conditions like leaky gut and others. Find out how these additions to your nutrition can help your hormones become more balanced, prevent yourself from having complications and adverse conditions, and help your reproductive health.
Intravenous Nutrition (IV) is basically securing that your body is thoroughly nourished. We need food. But not all of us can eat enough food because of certain circumstances like illness, or lack of access. Sometimes, even if you think you have eaten enough, a lot of the nutrients from the food might not be absorbed by your body.
Your digestive system might have some certain problems that make you unable to absorb these vital nutrients that keep your body working to its optimum performance. With IV Nutrition, you make sure that you get all the vitamins and minerals needed and they surely will be received by your body. It’s a lot better than taking oral supplements because, well, sometimes you might have some absorption problems.
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Dr. Lauren Noel is a Naturopathic doctor who has helped thousands of patients with their digestive disorders, thyroid, and reproductive problems. She also has great knowledge about functional medicine and overall wellness.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hey there! This is Dr. Justin Marchegiani and welcome to another awesome episode of Beyond Wellness Radio. Again, we have a great show in store for you. Before, go to BeyondWellnessRadio.com, click on the Newsletter Signup button and you can sign up for our newsletter and get show updates right in your inbox before anyone else. You can also click on the questions button and even speak questions live, and we’ll be able to answer it on the air for you.
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Hey there it’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani with Beyond Wellness Radio and we got Dr. Lauren Noel here in studio. Well, kind of. At least over Skype. And we’re really excited to have Dr. Lauren here. She actually rescheduled on me twice because she’s so busy but I’m so happy we’re able to get her in. Dr. Lauren, how are you doing today?
Dr. Lauren Noel: I am lovely. So excited to finally be here. Third is a charm. Thanks for asking.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: No problem. So tell me, what’s going on with your clinic? I know we chatted a little while ago and your clinic’s been off about, I think, a year and a half, and you’re rocking it, helping lots of people. Can you tell me about how the clinic’s doing?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Oh man, it is-. I am beyond amazed at how it’s taken a life of its own. It’s just so amazing. I started the clinic Shine Natural Medicine a year and a half ago and my vision was creating a place that is not only empowering to patients but also to the staff, and a place where we all get to come together to and really just develop ourselves personally, with our health. I wanted it to be a hub of community and it’s completely done that. We have events here at the clinic. We just had our anniversary party a few months ago and it was so much fun. And we had a photobooth. Patients were coming in and taking pictures and we had healthy foods and drinks, and music, and a DJ playing. It’s just become a place of so much fun and health, and it’s exactly what I envisioned and more. So, I’m pretty happy about it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s really good. Awesome. And I see you got a new website up at ShineNatural Medicine.com. Site looks super awesome and I see you got a newsletter on there. So are you starting to send out blogs or videos every week now?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yep. We are sending out weekly tidbits, recipes, health tips. Just keeping people in the loop of what we’re doing at the clinic. And we send out fun videos – just something to inspire you and give some good little pearls for your health. We like to keep it simple, but also some useful information. So, yeah. It’s a lot of fun.
Female Hormones, Libido, Sex Drive, and Fertility
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s awesome. Really cool. Well, now I have you on here, I’ve really wanted to talk about female hormones and especially the area of libido, sex drive, and fertility. So I’m just going to open it up there. And why don’t we touch we touch upon fertility right now? Just [talk about] some of the things that you know need to be in place with the patients to be really fertile and have the best chance of having a healthy pregnancy.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah. God, don’t you see so much in your practice? There’s so many issues with fertility nowadays. It’s amazing.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: All the time.
Dr. Lauren Noel: All the time. And I think couples are embarrassed sometimes to talk about it because they think that as soon as they start to try to get pregnant, boom. It’s going to happen and they’re going to have this beautiful joyous pregnancy and no stress. And a lot of times it doesn’t necessarily go that way. Infertility is on the rise a lot more than it’s ever been before and I think there’s a lot of things that are involved with this.
But the first thing that I start with patients is a pre-fertility kind of cleanse. So, we’re getting the hormones balanced. We’re getting space created in your life so you actually could have a baby. I just had a patient the other day, about a week ago, came in. She’s very, very busy lawyer and she works like 70 hours a week and she’s like “I want to get pregnant!” and I go “You have no room for a baby right now. You’re not going to get pregnant because you just cannot actually take this on in your life right now.”
And with our follow-ups, she’s been creating more space in her life to do this. She’s getting acupuncture. She’s taking more time to cut back on her hours and meditate, and relax a lot more. And her hormones are starting to get a little more balanced and it’s been just basically cutting back and saying No. And I think that’s one of the biggest takeaways for women, especially, because if you’re stressed, you’re going to have a hard a time getting pregnant. So, we live in a very stressful day and age. So much on our plates now. And, you know, cutting back and really balancing out life is really huge for fertility. I’m sure you see a lot of this too.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Absolutely. And you know we know from like a lifestyle perspective, like the meditation, sleep, blood sugar, like these are kind of foundational. But what are some the things that you’re doing from a functional medicine thing? You mentioned hormones. I know you do a lot of IV nutrition in your office too. What are some of the extra things that you do that you find really help improve a woman’s fertility?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah. So, first thing is getting a baseline to see where we’re at. So, definitely looking at Hormone Testing, doing a good Day 21, seeing where your progesterone is looking at, your estrogen, adrenal panels, to doing a salivary adrenal test. And if you have healthy adrenals, you’re much more likely to get pregnant. If you have that flat line adrenal, your body is just trying to keep up with life right now. You’re just not going be able to sustain a pregnancy as easily. So, doing the salivary cortisol test is really important. I use bio health. I think that’s probably what you use as well.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, exactly.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Just really good hormone testing and then also looking and seeing if you have any nutrient deficiencies. So specific ones. Magnesium is huge for fertility. B vitamins, you know, the Methyl H. And you probably touch on something higher. Your foliate levels, your B12. B6 is especially important for hormones for women. And so, getting your nutrient levels on track before you get pregnant. Because once you get pregnant, that baby’s going to be sucking up those nutrients for you. So, you’re going to get just the leftovers. So getting to a point where you’re just optimally well, you can get pregnant and stay healthy during pregnancy. You’re not going to have the post-partum and just feel so depleted after having your baby. So, testing for nutrient levels, I run labs with Specter Cell. I like them a lot. You can also use the nutri-Eval from Genova. And just getting on a good program.
Typically for my patients, I do a 10-week plan retests to see where we’re at. And oftentimes, within like one or two plans, I mean, it’s a big difference with how the nutrient levels are looking, how a patient’s feeling a lot more energy, feeling like sex drive is a lot better. You know, cycles are more regular. But I love using IVs for the reason of absorption. You know we know that there’s so many digestive issues for patients nowadays. So getting a good dose of those nutrients right in the bloodstream is so much more effective than a supplement.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, that’s great. So kind of hit upon two different topics I really want to touch upon. So, let’s hit the first one here. Let’s hit libido and sex drive. We can talk about it from a male perspective. We can talk about it from a female perspective. But why don’t you address some of the underlying hormonal imbalances that you see in a lot of your female patients with low libido? And is it just about getting the hormone to fix that, or are there other things you’re doing in conjunction with just maybe hormone support?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah. Yeah. And this is one especially for women, I think, they kind of have some shame around this. They go “Oh I have this amazing boyfriend, amazing husband. It doesn’t make any sense. How can I not have a sex drive? And yet I just don’t really feel it. Yes, I’ll have sex because I want to make him happy but I’m just not really enjoying it”. And it’s just so common seeing this, even in women in their 20s and 30s sometimes. You know, who are younger and having regular cycles will just feel like don’t have this kind of sex drive happening. So, one of the biggest things I see, I know you see it too, is stress hormones. Cortisol is the best killer for sex drive. You wanna kill your sex drive, get your cortisol levels out of balance. I mean it makes a lot of sense for when women say they’ve gone on a vacation and then they feel more sexual, because they’re relaxed. They’re in a place where they’re able to then, you know, be in that more sexual kind of space. And so that’s first and foremost you want to help this sex drive, you’ve got to balance your stress. You’ve got to cut back on what you’re doing.
You know, if it’s meditation that’s going to start your day in a more mindful kind of way. I started doing meditation recently and it has completely changed my life and I’m able to have a sense of calm in the midst of chaos. It’s crazy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah. I’ve been trying to meditate, literally, trying to meditate for years.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Are you using an app? Are you using one those apps right now?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah. I use an app called Headspace. Have you heard of that one?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I use Calm and Headspace. I’ve got to go back and forth with them. Headspace kind of has the Ozzy guy and the Calm has the cool English girl in there.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Ooooh! I haven’t heard of Calm. Is it just C-A-L-M? Calm?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: C-A-L-M. Yeah. It’s a good one.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Okay, cool. Yeah. Headspace has been amazing for me because I think before, I would use different mindfulness apps and I would get a little ADD trying one and trying another. But I like how Headspace was like you build one day at a time. And that really worked for me. So, yeah. I’ve on, I think, Day 40 (Dr. Marchegiani says “Wow”), and I’ve been actually really consistent with using it. And I tell you I have more in my plate now than I ever had and doing that has made it to where I can keep up.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool.
Dr. Lauren Noel: So building in more of that, kind of stress report is especially important. And then get your hormones balanced. So low testosterone? Huge for women. Most women typically think, “Oh, that’s a male hormone. I know I don’t need testosterone”. But no, women do need testosterone. So, that can be really, really helpful for getting your sex drive on track. And then DHEA too.
So DHEA for sex drive, also for the quality of the eggs, actually. So doing kind of a higher dose of DHEA for women can improve the quality of the eggs in order to get pregnant.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And won’t DHEA also affect testosterone that kind of flows downstream and eventually increase it?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yep, exactly. So, I won’t really put a younger woman on testosterone typically. We’ll do some pregnenolone and some DHEA to give you those, you know, kind of the precursors and they have that flow into the testosterone. But huge, huge benefits.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s the same approach that I have. Cool.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: What about herbs? What kind of herbs do you do? Do you like maca, like Peruvian Ginseng? I’ll let you kind of just touch upon some of the herbs that you like.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah, Maca’s a great one. I’ve recently started using Mighty Maca. You know Dr. Anna Cabeca?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah, she’s put together a really good product in Mighty Maca. I love that. It’s a good Adaptogen blend. It has some greens in it too. And then the specific kind of Maca that she’s used is just of very good quality. And so we just start with one scoop and ramp up to maybe three or four scoops. You can put a little water and drink that down and that’s awesome for sex drive. And I’ve used that.
Also Femanessence. I love using that as well. And that’s also for men and for women. I know that NHI has put a good product with Femanessence for women. I think men’s is called Revolution Pro. But Maca’s so great. Because it works on the HPA axis. So it works on that whole, you know, stress kind of loop. It’s not all about, you know, we’re just going to boost your testosterone, right? We want to have your brain, your adrenals, the ovaries all communicating with each other. And so Maca really works on that kind of axis in a great way to firm up those pathways.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. What’s your experience with Horny Goat Weed?
Dr. Lauren Noel: (laughs)
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Have you tried that one for him?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Ha ha ha. I just love that it’s called ‘Horny goat weed’.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know, I know. It’s hilarious. There’s a story about this.
I was 22. I had like, chronic fatigue. I was in college. And the naturopath-slash-chiropractor I was seeing recommended it to me. And I remember like “what the heck is this?” And I just, I thought I got amazing results from it for me personally. So what’s been your take on it?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Um, I’ve found the same thing, actually. There was one patient who [is] on it. We had to take him off because it was like too much for him. Hahaha. So, I don’t know if you had that experience. But yes. I haven’t used it as much for women. I don’t know if you’ve used it for women. But for men, it’s been really good results, actually.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. Alright. Very cool. Any other herbal secrets you have?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Uh, let’s see. For sex drive, um what do we think about this one… Um, yeah, I think those are the biggest ones – the Maca, the DHEA, the Pregnenolone, cutting back on stress is the biggest one. I work mainly with women and then getting into the feminine, I think is huge. So, the more that a woman really works on her masculine and just trying to be that forceful kind of masculine nature. I think that’s a big killer for sex drive too. So getting more into your feminine, getting more into your body, whether that’s, you know, using more dancing, or you know, belly dancing actually. One of our new doctors in the clinic, she’s actually a professional belly dancer. She actually does workshops on that. And she’s very vibrant and has this very sexy kind of nature and it’s inspiring. So I think for a woman, really getting into your body. And one think I say is dance naked to music every day. Pick one song and dance naked to it every single day and you’ll get used to being in your body a lot more.
Because I think we have a lot of body issues. We see a lot of images of how a woman should look and that’s a big killer for sex drive too because you see yourself in the mirror and you go “I don’t match up. I’m not pretty. I’m not sexy.” And that’s just such BS. Get into your body, and really own that. That feminine power.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. And especially, talking about fertility, a lot of women that have these super skinny body types – a lot of them, they may not even be fertile because their body fat is so low.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yes.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Can you touch upon low body fat and fertility as well?
Dr. Lauren Noel: I’m so glad you said that. Eat fat.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Dr. Laurn Noel: Huge. For me, it’s such a no-brainer. I almost forget to mention it sometimes. Low-fat diets, that will give you a low sex drive, because you’re not gonna be making the hormones that you need. So the building block for your hormones is cholesterol. I’m sure your listeners know this. But, it’s like if you think of legos – the big main lego piece is cholesterol. And you add one little piece onto it, you get, you know, progesterone, and estrogen, testosterone. It’s all with that main piece of cholesterol. So, you want to have those good healthy fats in your diet. If you’re eating some chicken, eat the skin. If you’re having some meat, eat the fat. Have butter. Have coconut oil, ghee. I mean, these kinds of fats are so incredibly helpful.
And I’m going to say from experience. Back in the day when I was a vegetarian, my hormones were crazy. My cycles were, I mean, I was having a period every two months. And now, my cycles are right on track. At 34, my cycles are more regular than when I was 24.
So, nutrition is really fundamental for fertility, and fats is really where it’s at.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, that’s really cool. I never knew you were a vegetarian. That’s the first time I heard that.
Dr. Lauren Noel: I think all of us, at some point, were. But were you a vegetarian?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know what? I was on this super low-fat kick for a while, thinking fat was bad. And that like, screwed me up and I was super gluten-sensitive because I have autoimmune conditions. So I’m eating light. I remember being in my Exercise Science class, Freshman year in college and they gave us this, like, nutri-calculator, and they would basically give us these assignments and they would track all of our food. And I remember coming in so proud to the professor, being like “Look! I ate 12 servings of grains yesterday” and I was so proud. And everyone’s like high-fiving me and I was like “Yes! 55% of my carbs are grains. This is perfect. And then I looked back, and I’m like “Oh my gosh, no wonder why I had all these health issues and brain fog.” So I’ve made mistakes on the other side of the coin there for sure.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Oh my god. I totally relate to that. Yeah, I mean, back in the day. Those days I was vegetarian, lots of grains. I had raging acne. I was on Acutane twice. I had irregular cycles, you know, digestive issues, a sorry condition and so much of it was related to diet. And after even being on Acutane twice, my skin still did not clear up. It wasn’t until I cut gluten out of my diet, cut out the grains, added in more fats, and then boom. My skin is clearer than it’s ever been, my cycles are regular. Nutrition is so powerful.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It is. It totally is. And on the topic of fertility, can you touch upon digestive health? How important is digestion with fertility? Can mal-absorptions and digestive issues drive fertility and libido issues?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Oh my gosh. Well, as a naturopathic doctor, I’m always saying that your digestive tract is the center of the universe. It controls so much. Not only in your absorption but in your immune system, your neurotransmitter balance, your hormone clearance. If you have chronic constipation, you’re going to have issues with balancing your estrogen. So there’s a big connection there that most people have no idea about. You also activate your thyroid hormones, a good percentage of that in your digestive tract.
So if you’re having continual constipation, diarrhea, absorption issues, you know. Again, you’re not only going to have deficiencies, but your hormones are going to be majorly affected by that – testosterone, and your thyroid, estrogen levels for sure.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That makes sense because you’ve mentioned cholesterol being a building block of our hormones and if we can’t break it down and metabolize it, well then, we’re not going to be able to make the hormones. And so, I think you talked about zinc earlier, and zinc’s so important for our sex hormones too, right?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Exactly. Zinc is important for sex hormones and for your thyroid. You need sufficient zinc levels. Yeah. And actually zinc for fertility. Hello! Zinc for sex drive! Right? That’s why oysters are an aphrodisiac. It’s just loaded with zinc. I personally prescribe oysters all the time. I don’t know about you, but I’m always telling my patients “Low in zinc? Eat some oysters.” And that’s my regular routine at the farmers’ market – have maybe five or six oysters, and I’m good to go.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool! Do you ever do a Zinc tally test with your patients?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah. You know, I did that a lot in medical school. I haven’t done it as much now because I do run the Specter cell. But I think I’m going to bet back to using that. Yeah, it’s a fascinating test and it’s so easy and it’s so interesting because it’s like if your zinc levels are good that zinc is going to taste nasty. But if your zinc is down in the dumps, you’re not going to even taste it. It tastes like water. It’s so amazing.
Dr. Justin Marchgiani: I know. It is really cool. So, people that are listening to Dr. Noel saying “the better it tastes means the more deficient you are, the worse it tastes, less deficient you are, and the faster it tastes good, mean the more deficient, the slower it tastes bad, and it’s kind of in the middle”. So, the faster it’s good, the more, the slower it’s bad, that’s the best. Cool.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah. So if it tastes nasty to you, that means that you have a good amount of zinc in there.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes, absolutely. Very cool. Well, Doc, I know you do a lot of IV nutrition and we know today with leaky gut and chronic gut infections. Can you talk about, you know, leaky gut a little bit and some of the things that you’re doing in your office with IV nutrients and even B12 and intramuscular injection work as well?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah. So, nowadays, I mean, so many of us are having digestive problems. The culture that we live in, the standard American diet, and the environment that we’re in with environmental toxins, we just have the kind of life setup right now that is very conducive for leaky gut, unfortunately.
Antibiotics, medications, birth control pills, all of these we know can really set up the digestive tract to have inflammation and permeability. So I think, especially that we’re kind of in a Paleo sphere, we hear leaky gut so much. It’s almost like this buzz term. I think some of these people kind of roll their eyes at it. They think that it’s not a real thing. But it’s super real. And now, finally conventional doctors are coming on board and actually seeing it as something that’s legit and medically sound.
So finally, the gastroenterology journals are now being at the information for that and it’s translating over to the conventional medical realm and it’s just great. Not fast enough, but it’s starting to happen.
So leaky gut is really huge and like I said before, leaky gut contributes to everything else – nutrient deficiencies. If you have leaky gut, you’re going to have some nutrient deficiencies. And if you have leaky gut, you’re also going to be more likely to have issues with low enzymes, low stomach acids, dispiarosis of your gut. So imbalancing the flora. And this also contributes to things like parasites. Candida, you know, infections in the gut which kind of worsens sort of this whole cycle because you get these infections and then it feeds back into damaging the digestive tract even more.
So, the benefit of injectable nutrition is it completely bypasses the gut. We don’t have to worry about, are you going to get this supplement absorbed? Are you going to get the benefits of changing your diet absorbed? So, going right into the bloodstream, it’s a hundred percent absorption. So we use both intramuscular shots, and also IV nutrition. And we decide to go one or the other based on the patient, based on the condition, based on cost. But I live using it on patients especially like with inflammatory bowel disease. So ulcer, Crohn’s disease, Celiac. I mean it’s just really especially good for those kinds of situations, autoimmune disease. I’m such a believer and I’ve done IVs in about 5000 patients now. I know how to see what works, what doesn’t work, and for those specific patients it can be pretty miraculous.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I remember seeing you back in the fall at the Bulletproof conference and you were with lines of people and you were doing IVs on back then.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Well, that was a perfect crowd for that because whatever Dave says to do, they’re like Sign me up! We said “Okay, do you want a Bulletproof” which means do you want an I-Glutathione, and they would be “Yes. Whatever you want, we’re going to do it.” And so, yeah, it was a very captive audience. But I think we did like 50 or 100 IVs in 2 or 3 days we were there. It’s a lot, yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s cool. Very cool. So can you talk about why you would do an intramuscular injection over an IV and what the benefit is?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah. So most things we can put on an IV. There are a couple of things not so good in an IV like something that’s fat soluble. So Vitamin A for example tends to do better in a shot. You don’t really want that droplets in your IV. Doesn’t really absorb as well. And also Vitamin D is one we don’t typically do in an IV. But generally speaking, in an IV we can do magnesium, which is very important for female hormones, we do zinc, we’ve talked about that. Selenium, we can throw in there too. All B vitamins, so B1 through 12. Uh, trace minerals calcium, Vitamin C, and then we can get really specific and throwing in things like glutathione which is hugely important for autoimmune and for anti-aging. Amazing detoxification stimulator. And so the IVs we can do a lot higher dosage in the bags but with the shots again, so things like Vitamin A or Vitamin D, I resort to a shot because it’s more of a fat-soluble nutrient. Also, there are some things in an IV you cannot put in a shot. Like, Vitamin C tends to hurt because it’s ascorbic acid and it doesn’t feel as good. Zinc, I’ve never done in a shot. I think that would probably be pretty tender.
So, it just depends on the comfort for the patient, the way that the delivery would go. But for most people, I usually use IVs and shots because we can get really strategic on what can go on each one.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh, that’s very cool. Regarding, like, an IV, if I were to get an IV, is just your basic Meyer’s Cocktail good enough, or what would you recommend to the average person that’s just stressed and just wants to get a little boost?
Dr. Lauren Noel: I would probably get our Toes in the Sand formula. So, our clinic Shine Natural Medicine kind of has a beach theme. All the different formulas have a beach name to it and so Toes in the Sand is really geared towards stress relief.
So I know you’re a busy guy. You’re running a clinic. You’re a husband. You’re doing a lot with Real Estate. So, you have a lot on your plate. So I would, for you, probably add in a little bit more magnesium, and also Vitamin B5. B5, dexpanthenol or pantothenic acid. You know, B vitamin for adrenal function. I’d probably do double Vitamin C for you because the adrenals love the extra vitamin C. Um, yeah, but I’d do basically do sort of a modified Meyer’s cocktail for you and do more stress support.
And then also things like L-carnitine is great for something you know, like fat burning and for the muscles. And probably extra taurine too. Taurine is a great amino acid that really works to drive the minerals into the cells. So, even though we’re doing some good minerals, helping to drive them into the cell with taurine can also be really useful for that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s cool. So, Toes in the Sand. What are other awesome names that you have. I look forward to hearing these. What are they?
Dr. Lauren Noel: We have our lifeguard formula. That’s for immune. So if you’re getting sick, that’s an amazing formula for that. We also have the motion of the ocean. That’s a sex drive formula.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Hold on, we have to stop for that. So what’s in the sex drive formula. Is it Maca and zinc or what do we have?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah, we have extra zinc and also we have extra B6. Because that helps to support your estrogen level. So, yeah. And then for the Motion of the Ocean, we have clear waters, that’s our detox formula, so we do extra glutathione with that. We can also add in molybdenum, it’s an important mineral for detox. And then, going off the top of my head, we have, what was the other one? We have Toes in the Sand, Motion of the Ocean, Clearwaters, and there’s one for energy… Oh! Uhm, Seas the Day.
So S-E-A-S so Seas the Day. That on is a lot more for energy. So definitely, it has some extra B5 and some homeopathic so we can add in to do that too.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. So whoever’s doing your branding is doing a really good job.
Dr. Lauren Noel: You’re talking to her! Hahaha.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Awesome! Very cool!
Dr. Lauren Noel: Thank you!
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And do you still have your little bus thing where you kind of drive around and give the happy hour shots?
Dr. Lauren Noel: That was on my previous practice. We’re not doing that right now. But you know, the IV therapy laws have been taking some changes. I don’t know if we’re going to be able to do that. It’s unfortunate but if we can get around to doing that again, we definitely will. But I love doing the mobile IVs and the shots just coming to where you are, it’s just more convenient. So, yeah, we may visit that again.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That is so cool. So let’s talk about B12 injections. So, we have lots of stuff out there. We have Ben Lynch, we have all these people talking about methylation and folate and B12. Should you do B12, cyano B12, adenosine B12, you know? Should you activate folate? What’s your take on that and how are you essentially giving it the injection?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah. That’s a really good question. I test patients for methylation defects. I’m doing testing to see what their MTH or potential mutations would be. And then from that point, we can see, okay, is it important that we do methyl nutrition for them. So for people listening who are familiar with this, for example folic acid, we hear of that being super important for fertility. And the women, when they want to get pregnant, they take folic acid, but unfortunately, folic acid is a synthetic form of the vitamin. It’s not something that your body really recognizes. So it’s important to use a methylated form of that and so in any supplement that we use at the clinic, we’re always using methyl folate.
But the cool thing is that’s the kind of folic acid or folate that you get in dark leafy greens. So if you’re eating a really good diet, you’re eating a lot of dark leafy greens, you’re already going to get that in your diet anyway. Now when it comes to using methyl, versus non-methyl like for example, B12, what I typically do, I will use methyl B12 on most people. I find in my practice most people do best with that. Occasionally there is someone who will go say “That kind of made me feel a little bit, maybe too anxious, to have me feel just a little bit overstimulated” if that’s the case, then we’ll switch to doing the hydroxocobalamin. I’m typically not using the cyanocobalamin. It’s not even something I carry because I find we don’t usually need to use it.
What about in your practice? What do you find with the methyl B12 versus the cyano? I’m curious what you’re using.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, a lot of times with patients that have methyl issues, we’ll use the methylonin where it’s a B12 and AL-MTHFR and LMTHFR. And we’ll do it sublingual but we’ll run the organic acid from time to time and we’ll see people needing Adenosil B12 and then we’ll use Zymogen It makes it really good.
Well, I think Ben Lynch’s company Seeking Health has a really good Adenosil B12. Allergy Research has a good one but they messed it up because they put a little bit of folic acid with it in there. I’m like “ah, you guys gotta pull the folic acid”.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Amateur move.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I know. So, typically, the methyl, the MTHFR, the L-form will do and then if it says, we’ll do the adenosil.
Dr. Lauren Noel: And what percentage of patients would you say are doing methyl versus adenosil?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know what, I would say a smaller percent. I would say maybe a quarter to a third are coming back with adenosil. But most of the time, you can’t go wrong with the methyl and I think cyano isn’t as good. Methyl is, I think, the best way to go. Would you agree?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah, totally. I concur. And I’ve been wanting to run more of the organic acids. That’s on the organic acids panel, right?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, that’s on the methylation site which is really cool.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Okay, yeah. You sold me on that. Yeah. And I love zymogen. I think it’s a good product. So it’s – what’s the specific product by zymogen that has the adenosil?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s the—it’s actually Seeking Health. Again, I think Ben Lynch uses a lot of Zymogen stuff it’s the Seeking Health adenosil product.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Okay. Awesome. Thank you.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: If I find it after the show I’ll show it to you.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Thank you. Yah. That’s very useful. It’s very rare that I see an issue with the methyl but occasionally, they’ll say “I just felt a little bit kind of sort of jittery or wired with that shots”. So I think that might be that subset of people that could use the adenosil.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. There’s actually been a lot of patients coming in this week, myself. We were testing them and they’re coming back anemic. And not the B12 folate kind that we just talked about but iron-based.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Oh my gosh. Huge.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And what’s your experience using IV Ferritin or IV Iron?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Miraculous. Miraculous for patients who especially have maybe tried the oral iron before, and it can be very constipating and just caused a lot of digestive upset. And also too, with like the whole leaky gut thing. If they have leaky gut, getting their iron levels turned around, it can take a long, long time to do. So IV Iron is like the clouds part, you know, angels are singing opera. Huge, huge difference. And some patients just tend to need a little bit more support on going with that. So what I’ll do first thing is do an iron panel, see where they’re at starting point, look at the ferritin. If I see a Ferritin below a 20, I’m probably going to be looking at doing some injectable iron. So I’ve seen it as low as, I think, 4. So, what’s the lowest Ferritin you’ve seen?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ve seen like right around there, where like Lab Core will highlight it in red and say “Alert”.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yes. Yah. And the important is when you’re starting IV iron or iron shots, starting very, very low, and working up because it does have a higher possibility of allergy. So we’ll start with just a fourth a milliliter in IVs. Start very, very low and just gradually work our way up and we’ll even get up to 1 to even 2 milliliters and within 1 to 2 months we see the levels, like, completely different. And usually maybe once or twice a week, occasionally I do three times a week if they’re really, really anemic. But it’s my favorite thing that we have for people who are really anemic.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And do you ever do injections for Ferritin?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yes, yes. So we’ll do. Um, what I use is Dex Ferrum in the clinic. That’s what I’ve used and I found that it works best in terms of pain. We used to use something called Iron 59 and that was really painful. So switching to something that’s a little less painful is expensive so that the cost can be a little issue to some people. But yeah, so we’ll do the iron shot – it has to be done in a specific technique called a Z track just to prevent any bruising or iron stain marks. So make it sure, the doctor is really trained to do that. But yes, we’ll do it either in the bum, kind of like in the hip area, or in the IV.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Can you go in to what that Z track was again? I’m really curious.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yah. So, normally when you get a shot, you basically do perpendicular. So, just insert the needle right in and you have a lot more cushion back there than you might think. You can actually use pretty much the full length of the needle.
With the Z track, what the goal is to create basically a traction where you’re-. How can I explain this? So basically, you’re going into a patient, I’m going to use, say, my left hand, let’s say it’s on their right butt cheek, so I’ll my left hand to traction up. It’s sort of like stretching the skin up and then I’ll insert the needle. And then, I will insert the contents of the shot and then once the shot is done, I’ll actually keep it in there for 10 to 20 seconds or so. And then as I release the needle out, I let go of my left hand so that basically what happens is it sort of like traps the contents of the shot deeper in the skin so that when I release the hand the skin that is going back to its normal place its uh–. How do I explain that? Am I explaining that okay?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yes. That sounds good. Yeah.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah, so it traps the contents of the shot so it doesn’t leak back out from where it was injected from. Sometimes when you give a shot, you’re going to have a little bit of the vitamin, you know, you’ve got to kind of wipe it with a little cotton. So you do that Z track, it’s much less likely to get that. So it traps that deeper and so you’re not going to get that staining, basically.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. I know that was a very nerdy question. I may have caught you off guard with that.
Dr. Lauren Noel: It’s probably easier with the video, which we do to show patients. But it’s something that we do ourselves. I mean, I don’t even let patients take iron shots at home. For many patients, they’ll take home the B12 shots. We can show them how to do it. But that one we just do in the clinic, so we don’t get the staining.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool! And I’ve been seeing a lot of patients come in at me, like I just mentioned we had a couple of different causes. You know, maybe if you’re a vegetarian, it could be one. It could be a malabsorption from low stomach acid. It could have been even just a leaky gut thing. But one of the things I’m seeing a lot especially with my female patients that are estrogen-dominant is excessive menstruation. So when I’m interviewing my patients and I go into this area about how many tampons? How many pads are you using? How many days are you bleeding? They’re always kind of like “Wait a minute. You’re a male doctor. How do you…” So it kind of like freaks them out a little bit.
So now that I got a female doctor that’s skilled in this area, I want to get your take on, hey, you know, if you’re going through this many tampons per day and bleeding this long, maybe it’s too much. Maybe that’s a sign of estrogen dominance that could lead to anemia. Can you touch upon that?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah. That’s a huge one. So if you’re continually having a period, you’re obviously going to losing a lot of blood. And with blood goes iron. So, another clue that you could sense from estrogen dominance is maybe spotting between your periods. Also, if you have really difficult periods like cramps, maybe breast tenderness, just also issues like maybe some emotional things before your period. You feel more weepy and just feel like a lot more kind of irritability. Those are just potential clues that your hormones could be a little out of balance.
And the reason why estrogen dominance can lead to heavier periods is that because estrogen is a proliferator of tissues. So it makes the lining of the uterus become thicker and progesterone works sort of like a, uhm. I see that estrogen builds it up and the progesterone kind of pats it down. So if you are too dominant on estrogen you’re gonna be building too much of a tissue and if you’re low on progesterone you’re not gonna pat that down so you can get some spotting.
So really working to balance out the hormones is super important. It goes back to, like you said, the digestive tract, also the liver is your main filter for hormones and doing some work on resetting the liver pathways doing the methylation support. Multisol would be a great herb to add in to help with liver clearance. And then also looking at maybe doing some specific supplements like Dim or I3Cs, doing some specific estrogen balancers. Have you talked about Dim on your show before?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I haven’t really talked about it but I will leave the floor open to you here.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah, so one of the great benefits of broccoli or the brassica family is that it helps balance your estrogens actually. It helps to clear excess estrogens from the liver. So that’s something I’ll use in my practice a lot when there is some estrogen dominance kind of picture, and typically just a capsule twice a day of Dim. I use Estro Dim from Orton Molecular but there’s some great supplements from various companies. But, it’s taking one of the ingredients from broccoli in a highly concentrated form and you’re doing that for about three to six months and you’ll see that those dominant estrogen issues oftentimes gets resolved. So that’s hugely important. And then, I don’t there’s anything else about estrogen dominance.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s also helping that 2 to 4 to 16 ratio, right?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah, so preventing that potential breast cancer risk.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: How does that ratio flip? I always mess it up. I don’t really get the specifics. Is it we get less of the 16 more of the 4 and the 2?
Dr. Lauren Noel: You want more of the two. I think you want to be 2 good. That’s it. 2 good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I always confuse those. So more of the 2. 2 good. I’ll never forget that now.
Dr. Lauren Noel: You wanna be 2 good.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Haha. 2 good. Perfect. Love it. So, looking at just objective markers here, because I always kind of ask my patients this every time they make a patient call. So what would you consider too much for tampon usage? Like it’s market that you know you’re bleeding too much. 4? More? Maybe kind of that threshold?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah. I would say 4 is a good threshold marker. But it’s more than that. I look in to see what’s going on with the hormones.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then 3 days would be kind of more like your cut-off?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah. I mean, you want maybe your first 2 or 3 days to be typically more in the heavier side. But if you find that after three days, you’re still going through like 4 or more tampons, I would look into things. Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. Alright. That really helps. I see a lot of patients that are anemic and then you also got some patients that may have fibroid issues and they’re anemic and they’re also taking iron with the fibroid. Can you talk about why taking iron might actually make that fibroid grow bigger?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Well, it can affect your estrogen levels, your hormones. Is that the pathway you’re thinking of?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well I’ve just seen some patients where the iron will actually fuel the growth of the fibroid and the fibroid will continue to grow. And you can give all this around and this will get sucked up by the fibroid so it never really gets into the blood where it needs to go. Have you seen that before?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Right. Yeah. That’s a good one, Doc. I haven’t seen that one as much but that makes a lot of sense. I mean, iron can contribute to growth and we know that iron can feed dispiosis and infections. So that’s why I’m always testing to see that it’s not one of the things that I give very casually. You don’t really want to take iron unless you really need it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Right. You’re gonna give iron and then you’ll follow up with like a ferritin or like a saturation or a UIVC kind of thing, am I right?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yup. Every time. We’re doing ferritin, iron saturation, total iron binding capacity, and transferrin, I mean the whole thing. I’m looking at the blood cell count, if you have healthy counts. If you’re anemic, you tend to have lower red blood cells. Your hematocrit tends to be lower which is basically what percentage of your total blood is made up of red blood cells. And if that’s low, that’s also a clue for anemia or low iron. And then your hemoglobin. So your iron is attached to oxygen in the cell and if you are deficient in iron, you’re also going to be low on oxygen too.
One little trick to see if you might be low on iron, for you guys listening, you want to look in the mirror. You want to look at the inside of your lower part of your eyelids. That’s your conjunctivus. So just go ahead and look in the mirror. Pull down and look at the inner part of your eyelids, if you see that it’s actually really pale, it should be a nice pink color. If that really pale, it’s a clue that you could be anemic. Also looking at your fingernails, if you push on your fingernails and then release you want it to turn pink again really quickly, and if it stays white for a while that’s a clue that you may be deficient in iron.
And then another little trick too is that if you find yourself yawning a lot, like let’s say you’re doing a workout and you just yawn all the time, that could be a clue that you’re just not getting enough of that oxygen and that it might be a clue of low iron too. So, just something to pay attention to.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s really cool. I love the little clinical takeaways, the physical exams. The takeaways are so great.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Really helpful.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, one of the best parts of natural medicine are those little pearls right there.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Mhhmm. And also one for zinc that we didn’t mention before is the white spots on your fingernails. That could be a zinc issue. Or if you have vertical ridges or just ridging on your nails, that could be a mineral issue. So another thing to check out.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. And also one last thing that I learned to is if you take your hands and you extend your fingers back like if you’re pressing them so that you’re extending them back, that lifeline across there should start turning more read and if it doesn’t turn red and if it stays white, that’s another sign of anemia too.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Oh yea. I like that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. Awesome, Doc. You’re giving us a lot of information. Last question here. I want to touch upon. It’s such a hot question, especially with thyroid patients and such. Can you talk a bit more about iodine and how you use it with your patients and how you kind of be a little more ginger about it with autoimmune patients. What’s your take on iodine?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah. It’s such a hot topic and it’s so confusing for people because you hear of iodine being so good for the thyroid. But then you hear that most thyroid conditions are autoimmune related. So is it okay with autoimmune is it now okay?
The camp of people that say “Never ever get iodine with autoimmune”. To me, the way that I go about it is I always check a full thyroid panel including antibodies. And if I see that there’s autoimmune issues and there’s elevated antibodies I tend to not do iodine like that.
Sometimes I will. You know when I do iodine or have some C vegetables, I feel really good. I listen to that. So sometimes I will make an exception for patients but I tend to not especially if I’m seeing elevated antibodies. If I over and over check antibodies and see that the levels are very low, and the patient is still having thyroid issues, then I will add in some iodine and just very, very slowly work up to it.
For myself, I had a very bad experience with iodine. I did too much of it and it really affected my thyroid very negatively. So you don’t want to take iodine unless you need it. So for many of my patients, I will do a blood test and see where their levels are at. But I’m a little bit cautious about using just a lot of iodine.
For women who have fiber-cystic breasts, it can be very helpful for them to actually apply iodine unto the breast. Dr. Jonathan Wright, he says to apply on the bottom of the feet, which is kind of a funny place. But that can be very helpful for those fibrocystic issues of painful breasts with your cycles.
But that’s how I tend to view iodine. I’m curious about you though.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, very, very similar. I always look to see if there are antibodies. Again, with iodination which is the process of making thyroid hormones – the body binds some thyrosine to the iodine molecule. And in that process, it spits off a whole bunch of hydrogen peroxide. And if we have Selenium deficiency, well, selenium normally comes in there and it pulls off some of the oxygen molecules and making it water and O2. And if we don’t have the selenium there, then the hydrogen peroxide can stimulate that immune system to go attack it.
I think really focusing on, especially when they’re autoimmune, really the selenium first. It’s really the best way to go. I’m totally in sync with exactly what you’re saying there.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah. And are you testing iodine?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: You know what, I don’t really test it too much. Again, I’m familiar with Doctor Status, got a really good 24-hour iodine test. They got a spot test as well. I don’t do it too much. I kind of start with the potassium iodide and I just start up very gently and I just load up very slow with patience. And it tends to work. I’ll also look on the tests if their T4s and the lower end of the range, you know that’s a building block for T4. So then, we’ll start using just a little bit of iodine there as well.
Dr. Lauren Noel: And you’re using it as the potassium iodide?
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yah. I’ll use potassium iodide and iodine. I like the new Lou Gaal Socket Generation because it’s got the Selenium and the B vitamins and the folic minerals and the vitamin C. And I like that because the thyroid really wants the iodide but a lot of times the breast tissue really wants a lot of the iodine so I really give it both together because a lot of times that breast tissue will take it all up and clogs it.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Because you were giving pearls. I just wrote that down. Thank you!
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I got little pearls written down for myself. So I’m super stoked.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Sweet. Give and take.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I love it, I love it. So Dr. Lauren, today’s interview was awesome I want to have you back real soon. I just want you to talk about a little more about your clinic. I know you’re seeing patients abroad via Skype and the phone. I know some have the happy hour specials for shots and IVs. And I’m actually looking forward to coming down at Salona Beach for you clinic and get an IV really soon.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah, so I work with patients all over the country. That’s the benefit of how really with this radio show we can reach people all over the world. It’s such a good bonus that I get to work with patients out of the state and out of the country. So, I do that. About half my patients are not even in California. But for local patients, we do have the local IV therapy program. We mentioned we have the whole IV menu, shot menu, and on Wednesday afternoons, we have the happy hours. We call it happy hour. It’s really about getting patients in the door it’s kind of catchy. But then we can really do the work of doing the full naturopathic care. So yeah, we’re doing that every week. Like I said, we finished our website ShineNaturalMedicine.com. But I work with patients over phone and Skype all the time. So for anyone listening, if you feel like you’re not jiving with your doctor, maybe it’s been a while since you’ve looked into things, and you resonate with some of the things we talked about. I’d love to talk to you and help you feel a lot better.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Plus, how could you not love those happy hour IVs? Those names are awesome, like the motion of the ocean? How could you not want that?
Dr. Lauren Noel: They’re pretty awesome. I love them. They’re so addictive.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: How about your podcasts. I know you’re like almost over a million hits and stuff. How’s that going?
Dr. Lauren Noel: Yeah. So Dr. Low Radio. I’ve been doing that 4 years. And it started as a hobby and it turned into my main patient generator. It’s amazing. It’s sort of taken a life of its own. But yes, every week, I do my show. Every week is a different topic. You can find me on itunes. Search in the podcast directory Dr. Low Radio. And we have had you on the show a few months back. And we have to get you back on because that was an awesome show. So yeah, it’s amazing. It’s free content. I think about 133 shows. It’s so much information. I have listeners who listen to every single show and I swear they probably know more than most doctors at this point.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. I know you had some good naturopathic doctors out there. You had Dr. Sherry Ten Penny on there. That’s a really high-quality show and you do a great job hosting it too.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Thanks. Thanks. Takes one to know one.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, I look forward to seeing you next month at Paleo FX. Super stoked and looking forward to hearing you talk and I love the new site. It looks so good.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Thank you so much. I’m looking forward to catch up with you and seeing you in person.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Great, Dr. Lauren. I’m looking forward to chatting with you really soon.
Dr. Lauren Noel: Thanks guys. Thanks for listening, you guys.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks. Take care.
In this episode with the brilliant Dr. Lauren Noel, we cover:
4:00 Female Hormones, Libido, Sex Drive, and Fertility
20:00 Leaky Gut
27:18 IV Nutrition